May 01, 2024


B.S. Cunningham Co. (1950-1955)
West Palm Beach, Florida

This is a Cunningham hood emblem (1950-c1954)    toc
Size: 120mm wide 57mm high   MM: Renmatt

Briggs Cunningham was a racing and sports car driver, who set out to produce an American sports car that would win the 24-hour Le Mans endurance race with an American driver. Though his sports cars scored a number of successes in American events and won at Sebring in 1953, he never achieved his aim of a win at Le Mans.

Six different Cunningham models were made starting with the C-1, which was completed in 1950 and was powered by a Cadillac V8 engine, but did not race at Le Mans. The C-2 was similar to the C-1 but was powered by a Chrysler Firepower V8 engine. Three C-2R cars were built and one came 18th at Le Mans in 1951. The C-3 did not race but was Cunningham's road car, see later below. The C-4R had a more powerful Chrysler engine and was raced at Le mans in 1953 and 1954. A single, all new C-5R was entered at the 1953 Le Mans and came 3rd overall. A C-6R was raced in the 1955 Le Mans but had to retire due to mechanical failure.

In order to race at Le Mans, Briggs Cunningham had to build at least 25 road cars to be accepted as an automobile manufacturer. In the event, Cunningham is reported to have built 27 customer cars, which were Vignale bodied C-3 models.  


The  Cunningham carried a hood emblem incorporating a chequered flag, see examples shown below:

Cunningham C4-R at the Simeone Foundation (1952) michael furman

Cunningham hood emblem (1952)    gran-turismo

Cunningham C-3 hood emblem (1952)    classicdriver

This is the painted metal Cunningham hood emblem shown above at the top of this post. This Cunningham hood emblem is very rare. 

Emblem collectors should beware as there are reproduction Cunningham emblems. The original emblems have two rear studs and a maker's mark. Reproduction emblems have plain backs with no maker's mark.

There was a very different hood emblem on the Cunningham C-3 cars with Vignale bodies built for sale as customer cars, see unrestored example shown below:

Cunningham Vignale C-3 (1952)    ms

Cunningham C-3 with hood script & emblem (1952)   ms

This is the red, white and blue enamel Cunningham hood emblem shown below. This Cunningham hood emblem is extremely rare.

This is a Cunningham Vignale C-3 hood emblem (1952)    ms
Size: Unknown   MM: Unknown

The following shows the body badge seen on a restored Cunningham-Vignale C-3 model:

Cunningham-Vignale body badge (1952)   jill reger

Briggs Cunningham's son Briggs III built four C-4R roadster continuation cars in the 1990's at Lime Rock in Connecticut. These Cunningham continuation cars carried the hood emblem shown below. This Cunningham continuation car hood emblem is very rare.

This is a Cunningham continuation car hood emblem (1997) ms
Size: Unknown

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